At the beginning of nearly every semester, I’m optimistic about changing my long-standing habits of procrastination and sleep-deprivation. Though it can be difficult to navigate the chaotic schedules, courses and clubs that come with college, one thing that’s helped me stay sane and organized is decorating my space.
As a homebody whose motivation is inevitably dwindling as the semester progresses, I’ve found that maintaining a practical room, catered to my style, has especially helped my mental health and productivity this semester. Without further ado, here are some tips and tricks to help make your dorm, apartment or wherever else you live as stress-free as possible!
Organize your stuff
While it may sound obvious, making your essentials readily available can act as motivation. By both knowing and seeing where your daily necessities are, you’ll have a reminder to actually use them and practice healthy habits.
For example, I always make sure to put my antidepressants on my nightstand next to a full cup of water so I can guarantee I’ll take them on time the following morning. However, “essentials” can apply to anything: an assignment, a retainer, a novel — whatever it is you can never seem to get started on.
Thrift your furniture/decor
Decorating your space can be therapeutic, but it can also get pretty costly. However, there are plenty of in-person and online stores and sellers who offer a variety of used, typically high-quality furniture.
Anyone who knows me knows I am an avid Craigslist user, constantly searching through the Bay Area’s “free” section in my spare time. There are also plenty of antique and secondhand shops around the area, in addition to estate sales, where I’ve found inexpensive decor and household items. While used items can sometimes be draining to sift through, I’ve been able to find some really unique and exciting pieces for my home without breaking the bank.
Tailor it to your style
Regardless of whether you live alone or in a tiny dorm room that’s somehow supposed to fit three people, your space is your space. While it’s always fun to take inspiration and advice from others, you don’t have to listen to the people who think your comforter is too “loud,” posters too tacky, plants too many.
College is all about coming into yourself and discovering your individuality, so why not take control of your environment and actually express your interests? As we trudge through a variety of sterile buildings on campus, putting things you actually enjoy in your own space will provide a breath of fresh air among the sea of students and academia.
Ultimately, you know yourself and your needs best. While college may not be all about decorating your dorm or having the most “aesthetic” room, livening up your space while keeping it practical can help you thrive in the long run.